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But this decision on the part of some
score or more of vociferating Frenchmen
and Frenchwomen was not reached very
promptly. And by the time we left
Appenweier we had considerably increased
the amount of time by which we were
belated. At last we did reach Bâle about
three hours after our train was due there.

And there we were on Swiss soil; and
the story of our flight from the seat of war
may be said to be completed. In fact,
however, we were bound for Schaffhausen,
which we reached at two in the morning,
instead of at ten in the evening. But we
were little disposed to be in a complaining
mood as to any such little contretemps,
being only too happy to find ourselves
fairly out from between the hammer and
the anvil, which was in very truth the
enviable position we had occupied on that
memorable morning.


THE quarter of the town where I reside
slopes towards the river; is very new, stiff,
and white, and, as all the world knows,
laid out with great prettiness upon the
property of that wealthy and important
khedive, the most noble the Marquis of Jericho.
For thus it is customary at little vestries,
ratepayers' associations, and the like, to
speak of this great man at such honourable
full length, we being his, body and soul,
and that potentate being supposed to allow
us to hold the ground upon which our
houses stand on the most despotic and
Muscovite termsshort leases, clever
lawyers, arbitrary agents being devised to look
after his interests. At street corners, or in
shops, where we see two or more in
conversation, we are certain to hear the words
"the marquis," who is either giving, or
refusing, or promising something. Under
these auspices great wastes of streets, white,
powdery, and plastery, have arisen, with
their windows and porticos as uniform as
the doors down a hospital corridor, or in a
convict prison. Sometimes we see a whole
street of these edifices in process, all their
architectural mouldings, and cornices, and
pillars, and balustrades being duly fashioned
out of a brown moist composition that looks
like cocoa in process of being mixed. The
pillars supporting the grand balconies
consist, in this stage of their existence, of
rude sticks plastered round, the capitals
and bases to be supplied when all is
finished. The whole air seems charged
with a damp loamy flavour; and particles
of plaster float about.

I think a week's steady walking in our
Jericho streetswhich all run in squares
and right angleswould leave a pressure
of nothing but pillars and windows on the
brain. Turn to the right, turn to the left,
it is portico, portico, portico! exactly like
Mr. Tennyson's horse, whose hoofs rang
out, "Propputty, propputty, propputty!"
Lose your way, and you might walk miles
within a space of half a mile square. The
streets are all named in honour of our
illustrious divinity and of his belongings.
Thus we have Dagon-square, Moloch-street,
Dives-terrace, and such names. The
potentate's son has a couple of streets to
himself, and some of the minor titles are duly
expressed in plaster and porticos.

These regimental streets, I notice,
contrived to be cast in long moulds of various
breadths, just as one would unroll ribbons
of various breadths. Some are yellow and
narrow, about three stories high, every
window universally ornamented with
children's heads, as with flower-pots, and have
a generally crowded appearance. Others
are broad, and four and five stories high,
with a gloomy and sullen bearing, as though
it were dangerous to question them. But
the physiognomy and expression of houses
have been often dwelt on.

In this "prosperity of edification," as
Dr. Johnson might say, the Jericho district
began, not unnaturally, to take airs. What
with the marquis, and the vestry, and the
baths and washhouses, and the schools
rising up on all sides at the nod or beck of
the potentate, it began to look upon itself
very much as an independent realm, with
a sort of sovereign and estates. And it was
in this tone of mind that it was proposed
to erect the assembly-rooms. The marquis
would give a piece of ground, subscribe a
hundred pounds, and make a speech when
the first stone was laid. A great city, as
Jericho virtually was (about the size of
Reading), should havewas entitled to
rooms. Was it not a shame that a place
like Jericho, even for the sheer dignity of
the thing, should not be adorned with a
convenience to be found in country towns
of much less pretension? The scheme
sprang armed from the head ofwell, from
the vestry. Some of our opulent men of
business, whose money and brains were
apparently and monotonously embodied in
the long lines of compo, put their heads
together, and the rooms began to rise. The
most sanguine anticipations were